The Chill 4: Who is the protagonist?
Classically, novels have a protagonist who goes out, pursues a goal, and changes things in the process. Lew Archer doesn't really fit that mould: rather than changing things, he's uncovering things. He doesn't actually do very much. In fact, he's haunted by his major failure to protect Helen at the start of the book.
Archer is also very much a blank slate. He has no connection to anyone in the case before the book starts, he has no relevant backstory, and he makes virtually no real emotional connections to anyone in the case. That makes things dispassionate, and may make it easier for the reader to identify with Archer.
Instead, things are kicked off by Dolly's investigations into her past when her father re-appears, and the coincidentally-timed attempt by Roy Bradshaw to marry Laura Sutherland without Mrs Bradshaw killing her.
Could the novel have been retold from either of their perspectives? Should it have been?
Does Archer's role as an outsider make the situation easier to understand for the reader? Does Archer's lack of emotional engagement strengthen or weaken the book?